The 16th Regional Meeting of National Authorities of African States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) kicked off Tuesday in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.
The meeting gathered delegations from 38 African states parties to the CWC and several regional and international organizations. The meeting, organized in partnership with the Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), focuses on the role of governments in the CWC implementation, as well as the coordination and reinforcement of the implementation of the convention at the national level. The meeting aims to highlight African priorities, and further develop the means of fostering cooperation between OPCW’s Technical Secretariat and the African states parties. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said the potential use of chemical weapons by non-state actors poses a serious threat to international peace and security, and is a real concern for the international community which should address it in a resolute way. He stressed that Morocco, African coordinator for the OPCW, considers the group’s regional approach a pivotal asset for setting the principle of universality of the convention and a chief lever to approach realities, spot challenges facing the state parties and provide assistance and cooperation for every region and sub-region. By hosting this major event, Morocco reaffirms its long-standing support for actions undertaken by the OPCW, which it joined upon the enforcement of CWC on April 29, 1997, Bourita noted.
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